Posted: March 10, 2009 in Uncategorized
Good stuff, worth reading and thinking about.


March 4th

“It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because you are not bothered by what He requires.   Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide.  You may be more prosperous and successful from the world’s perspective, and will have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of GOD.  But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will.  You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.”


Daily, I buy from sellers on the street and regularly change US money into Haitian money with moneychangers on the street.  The intersection, only couple minutes walk from our house, is a busy place.  There, at the intersection, are dozens and dozens of people selling stuff like food, drinks, pirated dvds, shoes, sandals, articles of clothing, sunglasses, toilet papers, medicine and more stuff that I can list. 
It, as well, is a major taptap (the brightly colored covered pick up trucks that most people use to get around) station and also a major motorcycle taxi station as well.  Last year a pretty big police station was put in and so there are always police with funny colored camouflage uniforms.  I think that the uniforms were ordered by some other country and either they were too ugly or the wrong color, so they were donated to the Haitian police.  But, really who am I to comment on what other people wear?
There, at this intersection, are dozens of guys that sell the prepaid cell phone cards that we use and guys that change money.  I am always amazed how guys who probably make money transactions and sell prepaid phone cards hundreds of times a day, can forget how much the prepaid cards cost and then how much change they should give to me.  The moneychangers also seem to have a hard time doing the math when I change money with them.  Their uncertainty as to how much they should give me, never means that I receive too much but usually that I receive less.  Sometimes a lot less and other time just several dollars.  The rule is to know in advance how much you should be receiving and not hand over the US money until you have the correct amount in your hands.  Now, since you may not be certain what the exchange rate is, it isn’t a bad idea to have a calculator with you.  I know that most cell phones have calculators in them somewhere, but I am of the age where phones are for talking and not for taking pictures or listening to music or for calculating stuff. 
You also can be prepared that if you don’t know the exchange rate and you ask the rate the exchange guy will low ball you.   The funny thing is that even though you may have used the same guy several times to change money or buy cards, each time can be like your first time as you go through the rigmarole to finish your transaction.
I know that it may sound crazy but it is such interactions that can happen several times a day that makes being in Haiti a kind of fun/frustrating place to live.

John McHoul


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